Teaching Nineteenth-Century American Poetry

  • Editors: Paula Bernat Bennett, Karen L. Kilcup, Philipp Schwieghauser
  • Pages: ix & 402 pp.
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 9780873528214 (Cloth)
  • ISBN: 9780873528221 (Paperback)
Teaching Nineteenth-Century American Poetry Cover

“This volume argues very powerfully that nineteenth-century American poetry encompasses much more than Whitman and Dickinson. This is an indispensable book and will be useful to both new and experienced instructors who wish to include nineteenth-century American poetry in their classes.”

—Camille Roman, editor, The New Anthology of American Poetry

“A must-have for any educator in charge of teaching the subject and for community library education collections.”

Midwest Book Review

Twentieth-century modernism reduced the list of nineteenth-century American poets to Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and (less often) Edgar Allan Poe. The rest were virtually forgotten. This volume in the MLA series Options for Teaching marks a milestone in the resurgence of the study of the rest. It features poets, like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Lydia Huntley Sigourney, who were famous in their day, as well as poets who were marginalized on the basis of their race (Paul Laurence Dunbar, Alexander Posey) or their sociopolitical agenda (Emma Lazarus, John Greenleaf Whittier). It also takes a fresh look at poets whose work has been dismissed as sentimental (Frances Osgood), genteel (Oliver Wendell Holmes), or didactic (William Cullen Bryant).

The volume’s twenty-two essays are grouped into parts: “Teaching Various Kinds of Poems,” “Teaching Poets in Context,” and “Strategies for Teaching.” The fourth part is a selective guide to the field: an annotated bibliography of editions, anthologies, reference books, biographies, critical studies, and Web resources.

Nassim W. Balestrini
Alfred Bendixen
Edward Brunner
Gregory Byrd
Betty Booth Donohue
Jane Donahue Eberwein
Gregory Eiselein
Frances Smith Foster
Tyler Hoffman
Paul Lauter
Barbara McCaskill
Nan Morelli-White
Elizabeth Petrino
Elizabeth Renker
Eliza Richards
Katharine Rodier
Valerie L. Ruffin
Judith P. Saunders
Elizabeth Savage
Angela Sorby
Jeffrey Steele
Cheryl Lawson Walker